A first for women’s cycling in the UK, the National Road Race Championship for Junior Women was run as a standalone race. With a field of 68 riders, the junior women set out on the 54 mile-long circuit comprising of two ‘short’ laps of 10miles, and two ‘long’ laps of 12miles.
For the first two laps of the shorter circuit, the peloton remained together, despite several attacks in the opening miles. It wasn’t until the first ascent of Flint Hill on the longer circuit, that Lauren Murphy begin to show her form. Easing away from the peloton, her advantage consistently grew from just a handful of meters, to almost two minutes at the finish line.
After the race, Murphy had this to say:
“I honestly couldn’t believe it. When I went away and I knew I had 20 seconds for a good 10km, I thought they are going to catch me at some point. So the next thing I knew they came up and said I had 55 seconds, I thought there is no point sitting there waiting so I went for it and then kept going.
“I realised when I had a minute and 40 seconds I might do it. And then I realised I had a minute and a half. I thought I could fall off and I‘d still win. I was doing quite well and I think they might have sat up after and then it got harder from that. I thought I was going to be sick with about 40k to go, so the fact that I made it… I don’t have any words.
“I’ve being doing the National Championships for ten years now and I only ever got worse as the years went on – I just kept dropping further and further down and I finally thought I’ve got a chance this year I just had to give it everything and it paid off.”
If ever there was a testament to hard work and determination coming to fruition, this is it. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching Lauren’s progress with Epic Cycle Coaching over the past few years.